Phillies moderately warm stove rumblings: Chooch, Trumbo... oh and Stanton again

Phillies moderately warm stove rumblings: Chooch, Trumbo... oh and Stanton again

Things have been lukewarm on the stove to start the free agency period in Philadelphia.

A couple of links of interest:

Chooch is a free agent and the Phillies will attempt to bring him back as their catcher for 2014 but they're not gonna just sit around and wait forever. Ruben did some posturing in the Daily News today, from Ryan Lawrence:

"I can assure you if it takes similar as long [to get a deal done], there will be very little chance of bringing Chooch back," Amaro said yesterday of Ruiz. "We can't afford to miss out on other opportunities."

Ruben is referring to the wait-and-see they played with Jimmy Rollins a couple of offseasons ago.

Jim Salisbury tosses the not-on-the-trade-market Giancarlo Stanton back onto the rumor mill:

One of the things we’ve learned about Ruben Amaro Jr. over the years is that he can be unrelenting in his pursuit of player that he really wants. Witness his stalking of Roy Halladay years ago. Amaro was still the Phillies’ assistant GM when he started plotting ways to get Halladay from Toronto. He became GM after the 2008 season and started a full-court press on Halladay in the summer of 2009. He finally landed him in December 2009.

This is why Stanton has to be on the list of potential targets. Amaro has admitted to continually checking in with Marlins officials to gauge the slugger’s availability.

In short, Stanton is Amaro’s new White Whale.

A more realistic option is L.A.'s Mark Trumbo:

2011-2013 stats: .251, averaged 32 homers, 94 RBIs, .300 on-base percentage, .473 slugging percentage
Most recent contract: Made $540,000 in 2013

Is he any better than Darin Ruf?

From earlier in the week, Ken Rosenthal said the Phils kicked the tires on left-hander David Price who you likely remember as a youngster from the 2008 WS, but anything actually happening there seems unlikely.

Heard any rumblings that excite you about the Phillies offseason? Let us know.

Phillies minor league affiliate to ban tacos for one night to demonstrate bacon superiority

tacos-enrico.jpg

Phillies minor league affiliate to ban tacos for one night to demonstrate bacon superiority

Everybody loves bacon. Everybody loves tacos. So why can't we all just get along and eat bacon tacos?

That's not what will go down on Saturday night when the Lehigh Valley IronPigs are BANNING the sale of tacos at all concession stands at Coca-Cola park.

Brutal!

It's all part of the Bacon vs. Taco night as the IronPigs host the Fresno Tacos.

"It was an easy decision. Serving tacos on Saturday would be hypocritical," said Lehigh Valley IronPigs President and General Manager, Kurt Landes.  "Saturday is about proving once and for all that there is absolutely no substitute for bacon. Period."

Yeah, but like I said: BACON TACOS.

The IronPigs are at least trying to make up for their lack of tacos by making bacon bits available to add to any food item for the low price of 75 cents. Seems like a steal. And there's always the candied maple bacon on a stick at least.

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We're going to share some of the official press release for this event because it's just so juicy:

While the feud between Lehigh Valley and Fresno seemingly dates back to the beginning of mankind (or at least the beginning of Minor League Baseball), we should remind you that it was the IronPigs who first received national and international acclaim in 2014 for their "Smell the Change" rebrand that included the introduction of their now iconic bacon strip on-field cap and bacon-themed uniform. The IronPigs have doubled-down on bacon recently, embracing the "Bacon, USA" theme by doubling the amount of bacon sold at all games. The original bacon cap remains one of the top-selling lids in the history of Minor League Baseball. With widespread interest and publicity, the bacon logo quickly sold to each of the 50 states as well as Australia, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom.

It wasn't until a year later in 2015 that the Fresno Grizzlies announced a one-game name change to "Tacos" (we don't get it either) hoping to garner similar attention while claiming the Central Valley of California as the "Taco Capital of the World."

Regardless of your favorite team or food, there's little argument that these two clubs have distinguished themselves promotionally throughout Minor League Baseball and professional sports. In fact, the IronPigs have been awarded the most Golden Bobbleheads in the history of the award, honoring promotional excellence in Minor League Baseball across various categories. Recently, Fresno captured the top prize in 2015 and Lehigh Valley in 2016. The winner of this contest will have a leg up in the race for the 2017 Golden Bobblehead award.

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

We're all looking forward to the free-agent class of 2018.

If Maikel Franco doesn't shape up, the Phillies could make a hard push for Manny Machado. Franco after a two-game benching is back in the lineup for this afternoon's game against the Rockies (see story).

Then, of course, there's Bryce Harper, who earlier this month agreed to a one-year, $21,625,000 deal for next season. 

And guess what? If Harper becomes a free agent after next season, the Phillies would be interested in signing him.

Really?

According to a FanRagSportsNetwork, citing a Phillies source, the Phils would be interested luring Harper to Philly.

Shocker. 

It'd be big news if a Phillies source said the team wasn't interested in signing Harper. 

Anyway, the story also quotes a National League scout.

“Could you imagine what he could do in that ballpark playing 81 games a year in that bandbox?” the scout said.

Chances are every Phillies fan has already imagined it. Harper this season alone is hitting .351/.400/.784 with five homers and 12 RBIs in nine games against the Phils. In three games at the Bank, he's hitting just .250 with a homer and two RBIs.

But in 38 career games at CBP, he's hitting .296/.361/.627 with 12 home runs and 26 RBIs.

In 89 career games against the Phillies, he's hitting .282 with 20 homers and 54 RBIs.

At the risk of stating the obvious, here's one thing to remember: If the Phils sign Harper, then he'd no longer benefit from facing them.